The Doctor patient relationship in our country has undergone a sea change in the last decade and a half. The lucky doctors of the past were treated like God and people revered and respected them. We witness today a fast pace of commercialization and globalization on all spheres of life and the medical profession is no exception to these phenomena. As a result, the doctor-patients relationship has deteriorated considerably. Earlier too, doctors were covered by various laws, i.e. the Law of Torts, IPC etc., but since the passing of the Consumer Protection Act in 1986, litigation against doctors is on the increase. The medical profession is definitely perturbed by this and a rethink is necessary on standards of medical practice or ‘defensive medicine’.
Surgeons/Urologists busy themselves in acquiring knowledge, perfecting operative techniques and assimilating the newest technologies that are evolving so rapidly. Sometimes the course of the disease or therapeutic decisions does not run along predictable lines. The patient-doctor relationship is then put to test.
Doctors practicing ethically and honestly should not have any reason for fear. Law whether civil, criminally or consumer law, can only set the outer limits of acceptable conduct i.e. minimum standards of professional care and skill, leaving the question of ideal to the profession itself.